Next time I'm in New York, I would really like to go to this bakery.
My obsession started a few weeks ago when I received a copy of the new cookbook from the guys behind Baked, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Once the book arrived, I disappeared. I poured over every page. I pictured myself making every recipe. Salt 'n' Pepper Sandwich Cookies. Orange Creamsicle Tart. And the piece de resistance: Burnt Sugar Bundt Cake with Caramel Rum Frosting. I'd like to bake myself right into that cake and eat my way out.
The husband would wave his hand in front of my eyes, looking for signs of life. Then he gave up when he realized he could watch baseball without me trying to change the channel. I was focused, but oblivious.
I decided to start small, with the humble Cowboy Cookie. They sound a little junky but I figured everything would work in harmony. They have chocolate. And pretzels. And brown sugar, coffee, oats, and vanilla. The only thing they don't have that I think could make them even more crazy-good would be toffee. But then, I'm a toffee fiend.
The day I planned to make the cookies, I got all the ingredients ready. I whisked the dry ingredients; creamed the butter with the sugars; blended in the egg and vanilla, the chocolate and pretzels.
"Cowboy cookies coming up shortly!" I shouted to the husband, who was blissfully watching a game, having decided I was a lost cause, and to the other hungry dog, who sniffed the air approvingly.
Then I noticed this sly line: Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate the dough for at least four hours.
Come on, now! Don't sneak game changers into recipes like that. When I make a drop cookie, I expect to eat it within 20 minutes. I like burning my mouth on chocolate chips.
I figured that chilling the dough was an important step, though, and I decided to play by the rules.
Unfortunately, because of the way the day worked out, it was a full 24 hours before I got around to baking these little buggers.
The wait was worth it, though. The cookies are sweet, salty, soft and chewy, with a little crunch. I think chilling the dough for that long softened the pretzels too much--it would have been better to bake them earlier. In any case, the cookies were awesome. I suggest you wrangle some up for yourselves. May as well buy the book while you're at it.
From Baked Explorations
1 3/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 c. rolled oats
14 T. unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into 1-inch cubes**
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 c. firmly-packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. espresso powder
2 c. semisweet chocolate chunks (about 12 oz)
3/4 c. thin salty pretzels (about 1 1/2 oz), broken into tiny pieces but not crushed into dust
**About the "cool but not cold butter," the authors recommend removing the butter from the refrigerator, cutting it up in cubes, and using it within 15-20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the oats and stir to combine.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and egg yolk, beating until the mixture looks light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the vanilla, and beat for 5 seconds. Dissolve the espresso powder in 1/4 c. hot water and add it to the bowl, mixing until combined.
Add half of the dry ingredients and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and fold in the chocolate chunks and 1/2 c. of the pretzel pieces.
Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop out dough in 2-tablespoon-size balls (or use a tablespoon measure, which is what I did) and place the dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle the remaining pretzel pieces over the dough balls. Use the palm of your hand to press the dough down lightly; don't smash the cookie--you just want to slightly flatten the ball and push the pretzel pieces into the dough.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown or just start to darken.
Set the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Makes about 36 cookies.